Vegan biomaterials could replace chemicals in crop management

Recent research shows that new vegan-based biomaterials could be used instead of chemical products and pesticides to help farmers manage their crops in a more eco-friendly and sustainable way.

Scientists from India and Liverpool John Moores University have published a study in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology which shows the use of rhamnolipid biosurfactant in combination with fungal chitosan nanoparticles used to control bacterial and fungal plant pathogens associated with citrus, wheat, and sugarcane.  

“Population growth and an increase in the need for food supplies have led to the enormous use of agrochemicals by farmers. Overall crop productivity is also affected by environmental changes, including extreme weather, global warming, and disease outbreaks,” says Dr. Rahman. “To manage these demands for enhanced productivity and to overcome the complex environmental challenges across the agricultural sector, the focus needs to shift to a sustainable and eco-friendly approach. That’s where our research into innovative alternatives to chemical agents or animal-derived ingredients should really make a difference. Our study should better support the development of eco-friendly biodegradable agricultural formulations in the future.”

The scientists found that fungal-based vegan chitosan could be extracted from a fungi Cunninghamella echinulate, and the nano-sized ingredient could be used to control plant pathogens as an alternative to chemical agents. This technology enhances antimicrobial properties through greater electrostatic interactions and more effective disruption of the pathogen’s cell membrane.

This nano-bio ingredient can be used as a biocontrol agent for plant pathogens such as Xanthomonas, which causes postharvest diseases in several fruits and vegetables, citrus bacterial canker disease, banana Xanthomonas wilt, and black rot in cabbage.  

Read the complete article at www.biomarketinsights.com.


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